you will submit an annotated bibliography about the effects …

you will submit an annotated bibliography about the effects of spanking children. This is a clear and concise summary (200 to 300 words) of a journal article, book, or other primary academic source that will be used in your . Each submission must also include a brief critique of the source (e.g., how could the study be improved, criticism of the author(s) assertions, ideas for future studies, etc.)

Annotated Bibliography: Effects of Spanking Children


Spanking is a form of physical punishment that is commonly used by parents as a means of disciplining their children. However, there is ongoing debate regarding the effects of spanking on children’s development and well-being. This annotated bibliography aims to provide a comprehensive review of primary academic sources that examine the effects of spanking children. The sources selected for this bibliography are expected to contribute valuable insights into this topic and will be used in the completion of the assignment.

1. Gershoff, E.T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128(4), 539-579.

Gershoff’s article is a comprehensive meta-analysis that examines the relationship between corporal punishment, specifically spanking, by parents and its associated outcomes in children. The study synthesizes data from various research studies and provides a theoretical review of the topic. The findings show a consistent association between spanking and negative child behaviors and experiences.

Critique: This study is robust in its use of meta-analytic techniques, incorporating a large sample size of individual studies. However, limitations include limited control over the quality of the included studies and heterogeneity in the definition and measurement of spanking. Future research should aim to address these limitations by conducting more rigorous and homogeneous studies.

2. Larzelere, R.E., Cox, R.B., & Smith, G.L. (2010). Do nonphysical punishments reduce antisocial behavior more than spanking? A comparison using the strongest previous causal evidence against spanking. BMC Pediatrics, 10(10), 1-12.

Larzelere et al. present a meta-analysis that compares the effectiveness of nonphysical punishments with spanking in reducing antisocial behavior in children. The study examines the strongest previous causal evidence against spanking and notes that nonphysical punishments are not more effective than spanking. The authors argue for a more nuanced approach to understanding the effects of spanking, suggesting that potential differences in cultural context and child temperament should be considered.

Critique: While this study adds to the larger body of research on spanking, its conclusions seem to downplay the potential negative consequences associated with physical punishment. The inclusion of additional studies that have found negative outcomes of spanking would provide a more balanced analysis. Additionally, future research should explore the interplay between cultural context and the effectiveness of different disciplinary strategies.

3. Berlin, L.J., et al. (2009). Correlates and consequences of spanking and verbal punishment for low-income White, African American, and Mexican American toddlers. Child Development, 80(5), 1403-1420.

The study conducted by Berlin et al. examines the correlates and consequences of both spanking and verbal punishment in low-income families from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. The findings reveal that spanking is associated with higher levels of aggression and noncompliance in toddlers, regardless of ethnicity. However, verbal punishment is also found to be associated with negative child outcomes.

Critique: This study provides valuable insights into the relationship between physical and verbal punishment and child behavior outcomes across different racial and ethnic backgrounds. However, the study’s cross-sectional design limits its ability to establish causal relationships. Future longitudinal research would be beneficial in determining the long-term effects of physical and verbal punishment on child development.

4. MacKenzie, M.J., Nicklas, E., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2011). Spanking and child development across the first decade of life. Pediatrics, 128(5), 1057-1065.

MacKenzie et al. present a longitudinal study that examines the association between spanking and child development over a ten-year period. The study reveals that spanking is associated with negative developmental outcomes, including lower receptive vocabulary scores and increased aggression, during early childhood. However, the association weakens over time and is no longer significant during adolescence.

Critique: The long-term design of this study adds to the understanding of the developmental effects of spanking. However, the study relies on self-reported measures of spanking, which may be subject to recall bias and social desirability bias. Future research should consider integrating objective measures to validate self-report data for a more accurate assessment. Additionally, exploring potential mediators and moderators of the longitudinal effects would contribute further insights into the mechanisms underlying the association between spanking and child development.


The annotated bibliography presented above provides an overview of several primary academic sources that explore the effects of spanking on children. These articles contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the impact of physical punishment on child development. The critical analysis of each source highlights areas for improvement, including the need for more rigorous research designs, consideration of cultural context, and the exploration of potential mediators and moderators. Further research in this area is essential for developing evidence-based strategies for effective and non-harmful disciplinary practices.